The sky, returning to its Pacific Northwest ways, has become grey, cloudy and pleasantly overcast – making photography both easy and pleasurable. Light and shadows, softer now, gently bring out colors and textures – smoothing boundaries and enhancing the beauty of everyday things. Wandering aimlessly among the streets and cafes and parks of downtown Eugene (Oregon), a hidden piece of wisdom surfaces that unconsciously was known for years: that a photographer’s eye forces the mind back into the Present moment. Self consciousness can’t exist simultaneously with awareness focused on Reality – with appreciation of simple beauty found in plants and walls and trees and windows and stairs.
Still, self-consciousness, though much weaker than just a month ago, remains. Walking among people again, most seem to sense something a little out-of-place. There are curious, slightly confused stares and involuntary double takes – each often followed by a warm smile or nod. Each gesture, when I catch a glimpse of them, awakens an old, irrational conditioned “tug” of self-consciousness – a tiny, infant-sized fist clenching gently in my stomach.
It’s not important though, not something to be avoided or fought with. It’s just a subtle reminder that the change I’m experiencing is gradual, that – unlike “sudden enlightenment” (where I suspect the ego is repressed) – the old mental conditioning of self-consciousness, is fading. Each small, gentle tug reminds me of who I really am – who all these curious people are: Light within Light; Awareness looking at Awareness; Wandering waves, thinking that they are separate, gliding across the deep still waters of a Divine Sea.